Ed Miliband and the TUC: Job done?


Ed Miliband said "meaningful negotiation" is needed to prevent further confrontation in the autumn

They called him Red Ed. They said he was in hock to the unions. They said he owed them.

Today the Labour leader sought to prove them wrong.

In his first speech to the TUC conference he told union leaders what some clearly did not want to hear on looming strikes over reforms to public sector pensions, on spending cuts and on the benefits of academy schools.

On strikes he was greeted with cries of shame when he declared: "while negotiations were going on, I do believe it was a mistake for strikes to happen. I continue to believe that."

Later he added: "in truth, strikes are always the consequence of failure. Failure we cannot afford as a nation. Instead your real role is as partners in the new economy."

On spending cuts he told them, "We are not going to be able to spend our way to a new economy," and added that he could not promise to reverse all Tory cuts - such as the upgrading of pensions in line with CPI not the higher RPI.

On academies he said that they should work together with other state schools. That produced shouts of "No".

Now, lest you think this was Ed Miliband's WI moment, let me be clear, it was not. He was warmly applauded when he attacked tax avoidance, the Bombardier contract, NHS reorganisation and bankers.

This, I suspect, will be seen as "job done" by the Labour leadership ie Ed Miliband has created some visible distance between himself and the unions who helped elect him.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Fighting will continue after debate

The BBC's Nick Robinson reflects on the latest televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick


Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    "while negotiations were going on, I do believe it was a mistake for strikes to happen. I continue to believe that."

    A fair comment; how can strikes during negotiations be beneficial to anybody?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.


    By speaking against an uprising he aims to gain support from people who did not vote labour. Labour types are upset, but what can they do - vote tory in protest?

    No matter. Effective uprising against the tory regime is not strikes and riots

    People have stopped spending and that will bring down both the tories and the corrupt businesses that bankroll them faster than any march.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    It sounds like Panto season has started early.
    Boo ! Hurray ! Boo ! Hurray !
    Did nobody say , "Look behind you" ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Miliband should be ashamed to call himself "Labour party" leader. He should be sitting with Clegg where he belongs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Millipeed needs to be very careful here.

    If he stirs the Guardian reading bigots into trouble & strife & more riots - we'll be needing emergency legislation bringing through Parliament to jail the trouble makers & bring in the army to quell the worst anarchist & other riots that the UK has ever seen.

    Be careful out there Millipeed - it can all turn very bright rED


Comments 5 of 260


This entry is now closed for comments


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.